Power Through With Power Foods
A busy, on-the-go lifestyle is probably the norm for you and your family. But then there are those extra-busy days where you’re running around even more than usual – a day at a theme park, multiple engagements, lengthy sports activities making times in between meals even longer.
In order to maintain your energy for these more demanding days, you’ll need to power up. Travel with nutrient-dense food choices when you are on the go, so that you and your kids can perform your best! By having a list of healthy ideas and stocking your home with the right ingredients, you won’t fall prey to those high sugar (for kids) or caffeine (for parents) fixes that give you a temporary boost, only to leave you depleted later.
Here are Some Meals and Snacks that Will Help You Power Through the Day and Evening!
Tip: Always include a protein, fruit, and good fiber source.
- Eggs on a corn taco with no-added-sodium salsa and blueberries or oranges slices.
- Fried egg with avocado slices on whole grain toast and a small side of grapes.
- Plain non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt with blueberries, raspberries or mangos (fresh or frozen) with cinnamon and walnuts.
- Nut butters (almond or peanut) on toasted whole-wheat naan bread/pita or sprouted bread with a small bowl of strawberries.
- 100% whole grain toast dipped in olive oil and a herb and spice blend (dried basil, oregano, parsley or a dukkah with crushed almonds).
- Olive oil contains power polyphenols, which have been linked to lower risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Olive oil can help improve your cholesterol profile, contains powerful antioxidants and may decrease inflammation linked to chronic disease later in life.
- Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health in addition to many essential vitamins and minerals. Eggs also contain choline, which is important for memory. Serve your eggs with a side of blueberries for an extra brain boost!
- High-energy smoothies – mix and match
- Avocado, Greek yogurt, honey (to taste), frozen blueberries with chia seeds.
- Frozen Kids Greek squeezable yogurt (I like Chobani® brand because it freezes well and can be enjoyed as frozen yogurt and it stays cold longer, plus it’s lower in sugar)
- Frozen smoothies – grab and go on the run! Any mix of frozen fruit and yogurts, plus ground flax or chia and/or leftover avocado for longer lasting energy.
- Nuts and dried fruit
- Blueberries are a power food brain booster. Known to help improve memory, they can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Chia seeds may help decrease high blood sugar by providing fat and fiber to balance out your meals, giving you sustained energy so you don’t crash!
- Power packed with nutrients, avocados are excellent sources of fiber, folate, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants from vitamins C and E that help to maintain the immune system and protect against heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
- Dried fruit contains plenty of fiber and energy. Stick to a ¼ cup serving and combine with one serving of nuts for a power packed snack. Nuts are power foods that are filled with key nutrients and healthy fats crucial for your child’s growing body, but they also help prevent diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Stick to half a handful or the equivalent of a 100-calorie serving of dry roasted nuts.
|Food Item||Amount||Approx. Calories|
|brazil nuts||3 nuts||100|
|hazelnuts (Filbert)||11 nuts||100|
|walnuts (whole)||4 nuts (8 halves)||100|
|pecans (halves)||10 nuts||100|
Power meals for lunch or dinner
- Light tuna (packed in water) or canned wild salmon mixed with reduced-fat mayonnaise and hummus (50-50 mixture), served on 100% whole-wheat wafers made with no added sugar.
- Fish tacos and slaw – coleslaw and broccoli slaw are cancer defenders! Use corn tacos and top with sliced avocado and/or tomatoes.
- Bean burgers – a combination of protein and fiber, often contain black beans, brown rice, egg whites, corn, and spices—yum! Serve with a green salad on the side and sweet potato fries baked in the oven.
- Healthy baked chimichangas with roasted chicken – shred chicken, along with beans, onions, tomatoes, and spices on whole-wheat tortillas for another meal filled with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Four ounces of tuna and four ounces of canned wild salmon contain 1084 mg and 1715 mg of omega 3 fatty acids respectively. Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fats that play a vital role in cell function, and in reducing harmful inflammation that can lead to disease. Note: Tuna also contains the neurotoxin mercury, so consume no more than one can of light tuna (or 4 oz. for a child, up to 10 ounces for an adult) per week. For more on how to choose seafood, visit Seafood watch.
- Black beans are a nutrient powerhouse, which contain excellent sources of the macronutrients fiber and protein. They are also excellent sources of the minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese, all of which contribute to a wide range of our body’s physiology such as nerve function, muscle contraction, blood glucose control, blood pressure regulation, normal heart rhythm, providing oxygen to muscles, and much more. Beans are associated with a longer and healthier life. Yea beans!